In recent weeks, September has enjoyed a relatively calm weather start, but hold onto your hats because a multiday severe weather event is gearing up to affect a substantial portion of the nation’s heartland, extending into the weekend. AccuWeather meteorologists are closely monitoring this situation, and here’s what you need to know.
The Impending Storm
This severe weather event has the potential to impact nearly a dozen states, including major cities like Dallas, Des Moines, Kansas City, Omaha, Oklahoma City, and Wichita. The storms on the horizon are forecasted to bring powerful winds, hail, and even the risk of tornadoes.
However, amidst the threat of severe weather, there is a silver lining. The rain accompanying these storms is desperately needed due to prolonged drought conditions in many areas. Yet, this comes with a caveat – heavy rainfall could lead to flooding, causing travel disruptions and impacting outdoor weekend plans.
Understanding the Weather Dynamics
The driving force behind this severe weather event is a broad area of low pressure originating from the West and Rockies, coupled with a series of associated fronts. These weather elements are expected to create a prolonged clash of air masses over the central U.S.
According to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Dan Pydynowski, “A multi-day severe weather event will unfold across the central U.S. to end the week, ahead of a slow-moving storm.”
The Storm Timeline
- On Tuesday, thunderstorms near a stalled front in Oklahoma and northern Texas unleashed hail as large as tennis balls and wind gusts exceeding 70 mph.
- On Thursday and Thursday night, there’s a risk of severe thunderstorms covering an expansive 800-mile stretch of the Plains, extending from the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to the border of Nebraska and South Dakota. The main concerns during this period include large hail and damaging winds of up to 80 mph, with the potential for tornadoes, especially in the northern threat area in Nebraska.
- A more significant threat of severe weather is anticipated on Friday and Saturday when energy from a western low-pressure system arrives. AccuWeather meteorologists have upgraded the risk from “some” to “moderate” for parts of the Plains and Midwest.
- On Friday, a portion of South Dakota and Nebraska faces the greatest risk, with damaging winds and isolated tornadoes posing threats to evening commuters.
- Saturday night, a large area from central Oklahoma to southern Minnesota will experience gusty thunderstorms, with a “moderate” risk, impacting a larger population in the Missouri River Valley, including Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Omaha, Nebraska, and parts of the Kansas City metropolitan area.
Preparing for the Storm
While the torrential downpours could disrupt travel and lead to potential flooding, the rain will provide much-needed relief from drought conditions. AccuWeather advises residents to stay alert to weather updates, especially those with outdoor plans, and to seek shelter if lightning is detected.
The threat of severe weather might extend into Sunday, with potential impacts on the southern Plains and the Arklatex region. The Midwest and Great Lakes region, on the other hand, can expect sunshine and dry weather as a strong area of high pressure takes control.
As always, safety should be your top priority. Stay tuned for further updates and adhere to local advisories and warnings to ensure your well-being during this multiday severe weather event.
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